2024-25 Financial Aid Changes
2024-2025 FAFSA Changes
The FAFSA Simplification Act
The FAFSA Simplification Act was enacted into law as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act in 2021 with the goal of streamlining the process through which students apply for financial aid. These changes are being implemented for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) that students will use to apply for financial aid for the 2024-25 academic year beginning in December 2023. The FAFSA Simplification Act also significantly amended the formula that informs how students qualify for the federal Pell Grant. Below are resources to help you understand these changes.
The priority deadline for Cal Grant has been extended to April 2, 2024, for FAFSA and CADAA filers.
Significant changes to the 2024-25 FAFSA form
Several changes are coming with the new form:
- There was a significant reduction in the number of questions in the form from 108 questions to 46 questions.
- It will allow students to add up to 20 colleges.
- The FAFSA will be a strictly role-based form. When students log in, they can only access student questions. When a parent or spouse logs in, they will only have access to questions about their role. Only when the final contributor finishes their section will the form be able to be submitted.
- Regardless of whether they file a US tax return, all students, parents, and spouses must check a box that grants the IRS permission to transfer any data they have directly into the FAFSA form. If no information is on file with the IRS, specific codes will be sent indicating that person’s status with the IRS. All contributors providing information on the form must grant permission, or the student will not be eligible for federal student aid. https://rcc.financialaidtv.com/play/fafsa-simplification/what-direct-data-exchange
- If any contributor to the FAFSA form does not provide consent, submission of the form will still be allowed. However, a Student Aid Index (SAI) will not be calculated, which may lead to an incomplete application.
- Family size will be based on the number of tax exemptions claimed on the tax form(s) transferred into the FAFSA. If the family size has changed since filing the 2022 tax forms, a family size question will allow for reporting the updated family size.
- Child support received has been moved to the asset section of the form and, therefore, will only need to be reported for those families required to report assets. Child support paid out of the household is no longer a question on the form.
- The demographic survey questions regarding race, gender, and ethnicity have been moved to the student demographic section of the form. Students will still have the option to decline to answer the questions. Answers to these questions will not be used to determine aid eligibility, and these responses will not be sent to the state agency or any colleges listed on the form. Parents will not be able to view the answers to these questions, and they will not be included in the FAFSA Submission Summary.
- The Custodial Parent on your FAFSA will be the parent(s) who provided you with more financial support than those parent(s) with whom you lived more during the past 12 months.
- There will be two-step verification, and all FAFSA contributors must have an FSA ID to log into the online form. There will be a new process to get an FSA ID for parents and spouses without a Social Security number.
When will the 2024-2025 FAFSA Application Open?
The FAFSA application is now open.
Changes in Calculating Your Aid Eligibility
Financial Aid Workshops, Events, and VIrtual Drop
We have workshops and daily virtual assistance drop-in hours available. Click below for more information.
The California Dream Act Application allows students interested in attending eligible California colleges, universities, and career education programs to apply for state financial aid.
NOTE: The 2024-25 CA Dream Act is changing due to an overhaul of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). CA Dream Act applications is now available. The priority deadline for Cal Grant has been extended to April 2, 2024, for FAFSA and CADAA filers.
FSA ID FAQ
No. Every student, parent, or spouse wishing to log in and complete or sign the FAFSA must have a verified FSA ID. You can no longer access a FAFSA with student demographic information only. An FSA ID takes one to three days to go through the verification process. Everyone should anticipate setting up their FSA ID at least one week before starting the FAFSA.
Yes. FSA is in the process of enhancing the FSA ID process so that individuals without SSNs will be able to establish an FSA ID to access and sign the FAFSA. There will be alternative steps for verifying one’s identity within the process. Complete details of those new steps have not yet been released. FSA will use TransUnion services to ask knowledge-based questions to help with identity verification. These questions may include a current or former address, a previous phone number, an employer, or a home/auto loan. Answers will be multiple choice (including “none of the above”). The signature page process has been eliminated with the new form. Those without Social Security numbers will not need an ITIN to set up an FSA ID.
Suppose an individual’s identity cannot be verified online. In that case, there will be an option to contact the FSA and submit documentation (unspecified at this point) to help establish identity and, therefore, create an FSA ID. If both processes do not allow for establishing an FSA ID, the student and parent(s) must complete the paper version of the form and submit it via the regular mail process. The paper form has more pages than in previous years and may require extra postage for mailing.
You should have been provided a one-time backup code when establishing your FSA ID or when you last logged in. This code can be used when all other forms of verification fail. Make sure to write this code down and keep it in a secure location in case you need to use it. Once you have used the code, you must log into your FSA ID account, and a new code will be generated. Keep the new code in a secure location.
If you cannot mail the signature page, the Financial Aid office, at no cost, can mail the signature page for you.
The FSA ID is required to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online as a student applicant or contributor (parent/stepparent or spouse of a student applicant.). While in the past, a Social Security Number (SSN) was required to obtain an FSA ID, students’ spouses, parents, and stepparents who do not have an SSN can get an FSA ID beginning in late December 2023.
What you need before you apply for an FSA ID:
- Your own email address